15 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 The problem with testing for abstraction

...students learn by doing. Testing for abstraction on an exam can’t be the only way we’re evaluating student learning. If I had taken an exam on leadership in World of Warcraft, I would have likely failed, because the way I was engaged was through the practice of performing the leadership, not by talking or quizzing on it. Thought leader within the game-based learning movement, James Paul Gee, refers to this type of learning as “Situated and Embodied Learning,” where the learning is ...
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Teambuilding & Leadership Embedded in Play Conor O'Malley

13 MAR 2014 by ideonexus

 Humans Are Abstraction Masters

What distinguishes us from cavemen is the level of abstraction we can reach. Abstraction enabled humans to move from barter to money, and from gold coins to plastic cards. These days, what's left of "money" is often just an account record we read on a computer screen, and soon it could just be a line of code in a bitcoin ledger. Today, abstraction is all around us — and math is the language of abstraction. In the words of the great mathematician Henri Poincare, mathematics is valuable beca...
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The level of abstraction we can master distinguishes us from other life.

01 JAN 2010 by ideonexus

 Symbols: Shorthand For Ideas

Your 3-year-old has declared that he and the closet are going to Asia. Asia, like America, is a concept that depends on our ability to think symbolically. America exists only because a group of people got together more than 200 years ago and decided that this great mass of land directly to the south of Canada should bear that name. California wasn't America, and then it was. It became America because a group of people decided
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This is something important to consider in developing artificial intelligence, how symbolic thought works. When we consider "China", the word evokes an understanding of an abstract concept: a geographic location, an ethnicity of people, language, fashion, culture, population, etc. All the details of what "China" is are really abstracted away, we accept an immense amount of ambiguity in our understanding of the concept.